Carmen get it: Bizet’s classic comes to Joburg

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Carmen get it: Bizet’s classic comes to Joburg

Ballet with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra

Paula Andropoulos

April is the cruellest month, especially in Johannesburg, as the days begin to grow shorter and the weather colder. Art is the best panacea for misery, however, and the Joburg Ballet is doing its part to ameliorate the onset of the autumn blues.Carmen, the universally adored ballet based on Georges Bizet’s opera, will be playing at the Joburg Theatre from April 6-15 under the auspices of South African choreographer Veronica Paeper. A dramatic tale of violence, passion and infatuation, this rendition of Carmen promises to be a stunning showcase of South African talent: resident conductor Brandon Phillips will oversee the newly rejigged Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra as it brings Bizet’s music to life from the orchestra pit.The collaboration is an exciting opportunity for both the JPO and Joburg Ballet, which are institutions with a common investment in nurturing South African creativity. As Joburg Ballet’s CEO Esther Nasser has noted: “No matter how fine a ballet company is, dancing to a live orchestra brings a dynamic brilliance and dramatic force to performances. Joburg Ballet is thrilled to be working with the JPO in an association that brings two of Johannesburg’s most applauded artistic companies together.”The role of Carmen is being shared by four of Joburg Ballet’s ballerinas: Shannon Glover and Sanmarie Kreuzhuber, who will be resuming a familiar role, and Claudia Monja and Monike Cristina, who will be dancing as Carmen for the first time this season. Antagonist-cum-lover Don José, meanwhile, will be portrayed by Ruan Galdino, Leusson Muniz and Revil Yon, who will dance alongside Glover, Kreuzhuber and Monya and Cristina, respectively. Paeper’s 2017 collaboration with Joburg Ballet – for a production of La Traviata –was widely lauded as one of the highlights of the ballet season, which bodes well for their latest joint offering.Tickets for Carmen can be purchased at Joburg Theatre Box Office, or online at www.joburgtheatre.com or www.webtickets.co.za. Patrons can also book and pay via the Nedbank app and at selected Pick n Pay stores.

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